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Authors: Graysen Morgen

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BOOK: Crashing Waves
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"No. I just got home."

Rory laughed. "Oh my God, Martie. You missed Adler Troy coming out of the closet in front of everyone in the crowd and on live TV, after she won the gold medal of course. Wow, that girl can ride a snowboard!"

"No fucking way!"

"I'm serious. I even met her girlfriend. She's some kind of doctor."

"Holy shit! Damn, I wish I'd been there to see that!"

"Yeah, it was pretty crazy. The good thing is, her sponsors aren't so thrilled, so it looks like we'll be able to sign her as soon as they cut ties with her."

"Oh, man, that's great for us."

"Yeah, she's actually pretty cool. I spent some time with her yesterday. You'd like her."

"I knew she was lesbian."

"No you didn't. You just thought she was hot." Rory laughed.

"All women are lesbians deep down," Martie teased.

"Uh-huh. Keep telling yourself that."

"So, how did our riders do?"

"I was actually very impressed with our riders. Dalton Murphy and Stacey Holbritton both won gold in Slope Style. Our newest rider Ezekiel Jones came out with a silver in Snowboard X and bronze in Snowboard Superpipe."

"Wow, I bet that was exciting as hell to watch."

"Yeah it was cool. Those girls can definitely carve! And the guys are fun to watch. Their tricks are unbelievable."  
It's nothing like ripping on a perfect line-up of eight foot waves, but I guess it'll do!
"The bad part is, I'm still freezing my ass off and I have to be up early so I can go to the airport and change my flight coming home."

"You're coming back early?"

"Yes, all of the snowboarding events are over. The next two days are all skiing events and I don't really need to stay for those."

"Great, don't forget to call Alex in the morning and let her know that you changed everything. I guess I'll see you either tomorrow or Wednesday. Have a safe flight home."

"Thanks, bye."

 

~ ~ ~

 

Rory had been home for a few days, when she'd finally decided to stop fighting with the angel and devil on her shoulders. "Shit, Rory, just do it already!" she said, reaching for the phone just before it began to ring.
Talk about ironic
. She almost didn't pick it up.

"Hello?"

"G'Day to you too, my little ankle biter!"

Rory almost fell over backwards when she heard the voice with the thick Australian accent on the other end.

"Hey, Uncle Mick!"

"How the bloody hell are you, kid?"

"I'm good, how about you?"

"Not bad, zonked a bit. I just wrapped a Mickey Mouse case. Your mum's been busy as a cat buryin' shit too!"

"It sounds like the firm's doing well at least. I've been pretty busy myself. I just flew back from the Winter X Games. My riders came out on top though, so I had a good time."

"Good on ya."

"Thanks."

"You don't sound too stoked about it, kid."

"It's all good, Uncle Mick."

"Pig's ass, Rory! What's got your feathers ruffled?"

Rory knew her uncle could pick up on everything. Even three thousand miles away, he could tell something was bothering her. She walked over to the couch and sat down.

"Uncle Mick, it's complicated."

"What's wrong? I thought your company was doing great."

"It is. I couldn't be more pleased with my job."

"Alright, if you want me to help you, Rory, you have to spit it out. Is something wrong with Martie? Do you have a new mate?"

"It has nothing to do with Martie, and no I don't have a new mate, bloody hell," Rory sighed, hearing laughter on the other end of the line."It's not funny damn it!"

"Rory, I haven't heard you like this in a long time."

"I guess if anyone can give me some advice, you're the one to do it Uncle Mick and if you tell Mum, I'll be mad as a cut snake!"

"No worries."

"I had someone contact me, sort of a fan I guess you could say. Anyway, she's a surfer and she wants me to train her to go pro."

"Well what did you say to the girl? Is she a shark biscuit?"

"Of course I said no, many times I might add. She kept on and on, so I finally went and watched her rip one about two weeks ago, and Uncle Mick she has talent…but, I just can't do that again. You know I haven't picked up a board in over four years. How in the hell am I supposed to teach and train someone to polish their skills?"

"It sounds a bit more complicated than that."

"It is. She's a huge fan of mine from way back and she doesn't quite understand that I don't surf anymore. I don't want to disappoint her. I'm a washed up has been," she sighed. "I told her I'd personally find her a trainer."

"You shouldn't sell yourself so short, kid. You're a lot more than a has been, especially if someone is seeking you out to train them. I understand if you don't want to do it. What I don't get is why you're letting this bust your gut."

"Because…shit, I don't want anyone else to train her, but I just don't think I can do it, Uncle Mick."

"Oh pig's ass! You can do anything you set your mind to, Rory. You know this. It sounds to me like you're having mixed feelings and not just about training her. Well, tell me, is she a beaut?"

"Of course she is, but she's a kid!"

"Give me some slack on the chain you're pulling. So, she's younger than you. What the bloody hell does that have to do with you being friends with the girl and helping her? Give it a whirl, Rory, and if it doesn't work out, then at least you tried and you can stop walloping yourself and walk away."

"I guess you're right. Martie's going to be pissed —she's been knocking this girl for a while."

"She's your best mate, Rory. Of course she's going to protect you. You just have to be fair with her. I'm sure it'll work out."
It might do you some good to get back on the other side of the sport again.
"So when are you coming back Down Under? Don't make me go walkabout across the pond to find your ass!"

Rory laughed with her uncle for a few minutes. "I'll be there in a month or so."

"I'll see you soon. I'll say hey to your Mum for you."

"Yeah thanks, see you soon."

"Hooroo," he said as he hung up.

Rory set the phone down and stared at the wall for a few minutes.
Damn you, Uncle Mick, why are you always right? Rory, it's not going to hurt you to be friends with her. Besides, she does need the proper guidance.
 

 

Chapter Seven

 

 

As soon as Rory stepped out of the elevator, she stopped at Alex's desk.

 "Hey, I need you to set up a meeting for me and Martie with the snow team for tomorrow afternoon."

"Sure thing."

Rory walked into her office and sat down behind her desk.
Now is as good a time as any.
She took her glasses off, tossing them on the desk. She rubbed her temples slowly, trying to ease the building tension and arrange her thoughts before she reached for the phone. She quickly dialed the number from memory.

"Hi, can I speak to Austin Tinsley please?"

"This is her."

"Uh, hey, this is Rory Eden. How are you?" Rory scolded herself mentally for her nervousness.

"Hi, uh…I'm good. How was your trip?" Austin nearly dropped the phone. She hadn't expected Rory to call her.

Rory smiled, thinking back to the events of the trip. "Cold, but I had a great time."

"That's good."

"I haven't had a chance to find you anyone, yet. I have so many things going on right now."

"I totally understand how busy you are."

"Actually, the reason I'm calling is because I wanted to see if you were doing anything Saturday morning."

Austin's gray eyes bugged out of her head.
Did she just ask me out? No way!
"Uh, I'm not doing anything. I was going to go surfing but…"

"Great, I wanted to see you surf again. It might help me a little more with matching you up to someone."

"Sure, where do you want to meet?"

"Hmm, that's a good question. I haven't even seen the surf reports for this weekend. I just got back into town a few days ago and I've been in my office most of the time."

"I think Lunada is supposed to be happening this weekend. My friend Lori was talking about going up there."

"Sounds good. Call me on my cell sometime tomorrow and let me know the tides and the surf report. It's pretty rough out there and medium tide is the safest, so I'll meet you when it breaks."

"Great, I'll call you tomorrow and I'll see you Saturday morning."

Rory hung up the phone, nervously fidgeting with the pen in her hand.
There's no reason to be scared, Eden. You're just watching her surf. You're not getting in the water and she doesn't bite. Training her and sleeping with her are two completely different things. Calm down!
Rory tried to rationalize with herself, but it wasn't working.
 

At the same time, Austin was sitting on her living room couch in shock. Lori walked through the front door of the apartment, stopping when she noticed the astonished look on her best friend's face.

"Who died?"

"Huh?"

"You look like you just saw a ghost or something, are you okay?"

Austin shook her head lightly. "Rory Eden just called me. She wants to meet Saturday morning to watch me surf again. She said she's trying to match me to a trainer who will work the best for my skills or something like that."

"Wow, that's cool. I hope you're not in over your head though, Austin. She's very restrained when it comes to her personal life. Don't get too close to her, you might get hurt."

"I know. Hey, she gave me her cell number and told me to call her tomorrow with the surf report at Lunada. She wants to go at medium tide so I have to tell her what time to meet me."

"Did you want me to go with you?"

"Nah, it might be better if I'm alone with her since she's so skittish about the whole situation."

 

~ ~ ~

 

Rory sat at the head of the table in the conference room with Martie on her left side. The snow team took up the remaining seats.

"As you all know, there was a lot of excitement in Aspen. Our riders performed well and Adler Troy shocked the world by coming out as a lesbian. I had a meeting with Adler before the Superpipe finals, expressing our interest in signing her. She was very interested and well, one thing led to another and she made a life-altering decision. She's gutsy, headstrong, independent, courageous, and driven to succeed. These are all qualities that I look for when signing sponsorship deals. Every snowboarder and surfer with factory equipment from Eden Boards is essentially a face for the company." She paused.

"With that being said, I want everyone to know that by the end of the day today, Adler Troy will be the newest face of Eden Boards. I spoke with her attorney this morning and she's being released from her contracts effective immediately. I'm excited to bring her on and I want to show the nation that Eden Boards doesn't see color, nationality, sexuality, gender, or anything else discriminatory. Adler's a great person, once you get to know her, which I'm sure you all will because I've invited her and her girlfriend to come and tour our facility at the end of the week. Stephen, I want to thank you for all of the hard work you did researching her contract information and working with the legal team to have her contract drawn up with us so quickly. We'll need to get her up and running and comfortable with our equipment as soon as possible. The Olympics are less than a week away. Let's meet in the morning to go over everything in more detail, Stephen."

He nodded.

"Martie is there anything you need to add?" Rory asked.

"Uh…" Martie looked at her notes. "I don't believe so." She was shocked and a little pissed that she didn't know about Adler Troy's contract going into the meeting.

Everyone exited the room and Martie followed Rory into the elevator.

"Hey, what's going on with you? You confused me back there. Since when do we sign contracts that I know nothing about?"

"It's not a big deal, Martie. It literally happened all while I was driving to work this morning." Rory leaned back against the wall as the elevator started its ascent to their floor. When the doors opened she gestured for Martie to follow her with a quick nod of her head. Once inside her office, Rory shut the door and walked over to her desk, tossing the folder next to her computer monitor. She sat down lazily, removing her glasses and rubbing her face with both hands.

"You look stressed, Rory. Talk to me. I hate to see you like this. You've been acting funny for a few weeks now."

"I talked to Uncle Mick yesterday."

"Oh really, how's he doing?"

"Not bad. He's working like a mule. The firm's been pretty busy."

"How's your mom?"

"Busy running everyone's life in Queensland."

"Yeah well you know how your mom is, Rory. You're just like her when it comes to working and you know it. You would both rather bust your ass a hundred hours a week than have someone do it for you. It's a drive and ambition that I've never seen in anyone, except the two of you."

"Hmm…so anyway, he's looking forward to my going back there. I have a feeling they'll rig the plane so that I can't fly back to the states," she laughed and Martie snickered.

"Actually, Martie, I brought you in here to tell you something. I can't really discuss it right now, but I need you to know that I've made a decision that affects the company and…"

Martie jumped out of her seat. "What are you talking about, Rory? Are you selling the company? Taking on a partner? What the hell is it?"

"Calm down, it's nothing like that at all. In time, I'll tell you and everyone else. Right now, I haven't even made anything official. I finally made my decision yesterday after talking to Uncle Mick."

"Oh man, this can't be good. Are you in trouble or something?"

"No, of course not."

"Okay, then why the hell would a criminal defense lawyer help you make a decision about this company?"

Rory grinned. "It wasn't necessarily about the company. It's actually more personal than anything. He basically talked me through it."

BOOK: Crashing Waves
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ads

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